March 30, 2011

I survived the Presentation Madness

Today I had my presentation in front 100+ people and I survived. Yay, go me! Nearly forgot to add that I passed so my internship wasn't for nothing. Wooot!

So in celebration here is a bit yummy rock!

And after a long twitter discussion yesterday we decided and I can have Gavin and Eicca and Michele Hauf gets Perttu so sorry ladies you have to take what's left. ;)

Now hurrying to work!
How was your day?


March 29, 2011

Another day of lectures + Reading Observations

So yeah I'm still bored but today I will actually put some content in this post. *wink*

Last week I granted myself a pleasure re-read of Dirty by Megan Hart- I have to say I so adore this book, I remembered that but every time I re-read it I'm surprised about how much I love it.

Here's the blurb for you:

I met him at the candy store. He turned around and smiled at me and I was surprised enough to smile back. This was not a children's candy store, mind you -- this was the kind of place you went to buy expensive imported chocolate truffles for your boss's wife because you felt guilty for having sex with him when you were both at a conference in Milwaukee. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

I've been hit on plenty of times, mostly by men with little finesse who thought what was between their legs made up for what they lacked between their ears. Sometimes I went home with them anyway, just because it felt good to want and be wanted, even if it was mostly fake.

The problem with wanting is that it's like pouring water into a vase full of stones. It fills you up before you know it, leaving no room for anything else. I don't apologize for who I am or what I've done in -- or out -- of bed. I have my job, my house and my life, and for a long time I haven't wanted anything else.

Until Dan. Until now.

So last weekend I also read a Megan Hart novella I wanted to buy for quite some time now. I have to admit I never read blurbs of my auto-buy authors- I know it's crazy but I never want to spoil the story or get a false idea of what the books is about. So I didn't read it. So please take a look:

He loves her, or he loves her not.

There's only one way to find out— take a chance.

For most people, Arithmancy is no more than a jumble of numbers. For Somnus Keep instructor Elspeth Valerin, those numbers are her refuge, her passion. Her magic—her only magic since a painful incident from her past cripples her ability to unlock the inner power of the thrall.

Today her calculations indicate change is in the air. That’s not what she smells when she enters The Slaughtered Lamb, though. She smells ale. Smoke. And when she catches a glimpse of the owner of the Lamb, memories.

Tonight there’s a new face among the regulars in Connell Byrne’s pub. The woman he once loved with all his heart—before she left it in pieces. And one thing hasn’t changed: she is still clearly—inexplicably—afraid of him.

Elspeth’s heart is racing. That she and Conn are here at this moment means her numbers were right. Beyond this moment, though, is a fate she cannot comprehend. The one equation she’s never been able to calculate. The one outcome she cannot control—love.

This title has been previously published under the title Everything Counts.

Warning: Star-crossed lovers who need a little push to fully understand the phrase, “The whole is more than the sum of its parts.” Explicit sex with enough steam to prove the Chaos Theory.

So all the non-hardcore Megan Hart fans will ask themselves "What's the problem with these 2 books?"

So I wouldn't say there is a problem but these books have some things in common:
- The heroine's name is Elspeth (Elle's real name as mentioned in Dirty) and they both have a counting disorder- they count to keep their mind occupied.
- There's a tragic incident in both heroine's past that nearly completely identical.
- The heroine is scared of commitment or better said of deep emotion- to bind herself to someone else.
- the bar in both novels is called "The Slaughtered Lamb"

But both books are also completely different: Tithed is a paranormal novella that only touches these rather complicated topics lightly in contrast to Dirty which puts a rather large focus on the characterization and emotional development of the relationship between or two protagonists.

I thought the two stories both handled the topic good in their own way. Tithed was a compact and light approach but still everything was balanced and the additional magical touch gave the story an extra charm.
Dirty is and will probably always be one of my favorites novels- it's hard to explain how much this story touched me emotionally. It's an intense book with characters that could easily jump of the pages.

I know that Tithed is a re-published work so perhaps it was the original Dirty. Not sure about that though.
I never noticed something like this before- the same storyline in two different settings and length.

Have you ever noticed something like this before?
What do you think: nice twist to a storyline or not your cup of tea?


March 28, 2011

Susi is bored!

The university started again today and now I have to spend 5 days in a lecture auditorium listening to what everyone experienced in their internship. I tell you I am bored. So now I'm thinking about making one of those:

There are even instructions to be found here. *g*
And perhaps I should read some more....even though it always confuses me to read English while someone is talking nonstop in German. My mind has a problem with multi-language multi-tasking. Yeah I know it's sad.

I finally started a new science fiction romance- Gabriel's Ghost by Linnea Sinclair. I heard so many good things about her scifi books that I just couldn't resist anymore. I have to say it started rather slow. The first 140 pages were not really boring but they didn't grab my attention as I wished they would. But now it gets better so I'm again full of hope.

But okay. So perhaps I will post some more this week.

How did your week start?


March 24, 2011

ARC Review: Lady Doctor Wyre by Joely Sue Burkhart

A dangerous technology could conquer the universe. Love could set it free.

Jane Austen Space Opera, Book 1

Charlotte, Duchess of Wyre, once held the Queen’s highest confidence—and the technological secret that keeps the royal heart beating. Fearful of what atrocities that Britannia might commit with her research, Charlotte turned to the galaxy’s most infamous assassin, Lord Sigmund Regret, to stage her own death.

Even without the simplest of luxuries, seven years hiding in the Americus colony is preferable to one day in the Tower of Londinium. Until a bounty hunter’s bullet forces her to revive her research. Now the same nanobots that keep the Queen alive also run rampant in Lord Regret’s body. Making his yearly Solstice visits increasingly…intimate…and complicating her courtship with the safe and honorable Sheriff Gilead Masters.

When the Americus colony declares independence, and her humble sheriff makes a shocking confession, Charlotte has had enough. Weary of running, tired of living without tea and silks, she fires a warning shot across Britannia’s bow: cease hunting Lady Wyre, or lose the technological power the crown holds so dear.

Her next task isn’t so simple. Somehow she must keep the two men she loves alive—and prevent them from killing each other.

Warning: Ladies in positions of power, stylish spaceships, BDSM. A ménage a trois featuring a duchess on the run, a gentlemanly assassin, and a rough-and-tumble sheriff willing to gun down anyone who gets between him and his lady.

A Jane Austen Space Opera- that's was the first thing I heard about Lady Doctor Wyre and I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm not a huge fan of Jane Austen inspired books because I usually like the originality of the author's own imagination more but let me assure you this novel didn't feel like one of those inspired stories.

Lady Doctor Wyre is set in a steampunk universe that resembles our world in a rather inventive way. It's a mix of historical and science fiction with more than just one steampunk element- very intriguing and something I haven't seen before. We visit a galaxy of planets like Britannia, Americus, Francia and so on which resemble the countries we know. Each one has it's own way to live with what their ressources allow. One thing all of them have in common is the reversed gender rules. In this world the women rule and take the lead in every situation- politically socially and sure in bed too. *wink* It was very interesting to see how Burkhart envisions such a world and I smile so often while reading about a shy men or the incredulity of a man proposing a woman.

As the title suggests the story centers around Charlotte the widely known and feared Lady Doctor Wyre. She's a Duchess in exile but more know for her obsession with everything technology can produce. She's an inventor and probably the one who created the most advanced technology know to this world. Her reputation makes her seem ruthless but deep inside she is a woman who loves all things pretty and shiny. I loved to see this contrast in her character- a sharp mind that still appreciates a pretty dress or good tea. She's a really complex character and with every page we discover another facet of her personality. Charlotte is a woman I can imagine myself being friends with even more if she would invite me into her world.

Her life wasn't easy in the past and she was forced to leave the life she knew behind in a exciting coup that left her dead in the eyes of the world. This wouldn't have been possible without the assistance of the master assassin  Lord Sigmund Regret who nearly lost everything while helping her. Her lives are connected now and not only by emotions.

In her seven year long exile Charlotte missed her "lost" live but in the last year she met Sheriff Gilead Masters- who captured her heart with his thoughtful courtship and admiration. These 2 were so cute together- they reminded me of a typical historical romances couple just with reversed roles. Gil is heartfelt and headstrong and he would do anything to keep our lady safe.

The story wrapped around this love-triangle was really engaging and I was fascinated by the world. I think this is the strongest factor of Lady Doctor Wyre- the world-building is exceptional. I loved how everything was different from what I normally read- it's a very fresh and unique approach for a romance novel.

But there were also some things that rubbed me the wrong way. The characterization of our two heroes could have been a bit more thorough. I didn't really connect to them as I would have liked to even though I really liked the idea behind them. Perhaps I would have needed more time to really warm to them. I think this is also the reason why I actually didn't care that much about the actual smex scenes or the romance aspect of the story- with the missing connection to the male lead characters I wasn't touched.

Lady Doctor Wyre really fascinated me. An inventive setting with an enthralling adventure plot. The mix of historical, steampunk and science fiction is masterly woven together and the detailed view you get in the novel will leave you breathless. I would have wished a bit more time and space for the romance part but I still really enjoyed this one. I say bring me more Lady Burkhart!

To learn more about Joely and her books please visit her website here.

- read other reviews @goodreads
- read pattepoilue's aka The HEA Lover's review @Book Lovers Inc
- pre-order the book @Samhain Publishing (for only $2.45 right now)


March 8, 2011

Review: Wilder's Mate by Moira Rogers + Giveaway

Think a vampire-hunting bloodhound is dangerous? Try threatening his woman.
Bloodhounds, Book 1

Wilder Harding is a bloodhound, created by the Guild to hunt down and kill vampires on America’s frontier. His enhanced abilities come with a high price: on the full moon, he becomes capable of savagery beyond telling, while the new moon brings a sexual hunger that borders on madness.

Rescuing a weapons inventor from undead kidnappers is just another assignment, though one with an added complication—keeping his hands off the man’s pretty young apprentice, who insists on tagging along.

At odds with polite society, Satira’s only constant has been the aging weapons inventor who treats her like a daughter. She isn’t going to trust Wilder with Nathaniel’s life, not when the Guild might decide the old man isn’t worth saving. Besides, if there’s one thing she’s learned, it’s that brains are more important than brawn.

As the search stretches far longer than Wilder planned, he finds himself fighting against time. If Satira is still at his side when the new moon comes, nothing will stop him from claiming her. Worse, she seems all too willing. If their passion unlocks the beast inside, no one will be safe. Not even the man they’re fighting to save.

Warning: This book contains a crude, gun-slinging, vampire-hunting hero who howls at the full moon and a smart, stubborn heroine who invents mad-scientist weapons. Also included: wild frontier adventures, brothels, danger, betrayal and a good dose of wicked loving in an alternate Wild West.

The first thing I loved about Wilder's Mate was the wonderful setting. The mix of western and steampunk is fascinating and the detailed description of all the steampunky gadgets totally drew me in. In addition to that we also have the supernatural element of vampires and bloodhounds- which add a certain edge to the story and make it stand out.

But what is this book actually about? On the one hand we have Satira the assistant of an inventor who just went missing. She has to find him ASAP or her life will be ruined. A woman would never be allowed to be an inventor without a male supervisor and without Nathaniel, her missing boss, she would be forced to give up the job she loves so much and would probably be doomed to do a more "womanly" work. She's even more desperate to find him because he's not only her boss, he's more like a father and friend to her and just imagining what might be done to him drives her crazy. Being independent and more tomcat than girl she decides to venture into the Frontier lands,  a region where the strong survive and the general rules of society don't apply, to rescue Nate and bring him back home. The only thing or person that stands between her and her rescue mission is the bloodhound who will be send to investigate the disappearance. Satira is a strong woman who knows what she wants, but she also knows what her limits are. I really loved to see this strong woman who's also able to give someone else the reign. Often you only get these stubborn women who want to be strong no matter what just to be seen as independant. I hate that because a smart woman would see what her abilities are instead of just being stubborn to prove a point. I loved that Satira was exactly like that. A smart woman with a strong heart.

On the other hand we have Wilder, the oh so mysterious bloodhound. *swooooon* This is one super hot alpha male. At first he has this exciting mysterious touch. we don't know what he really is or what being a bloodhound means. We just get a little hint here and there and the allure of him practically rises exponentially. He's what we love most about our alpha heroes- strong, protective and adorable even though he has some rather rough edges. But even more he's not overbearing or suppressive. He sees in Satira what she really is- a strong woman who is capable and doesn't need pampering. Yes, he still protects her but he does it with a certain amount of respect to her abilities and doesn't throw himself in front of her when he knows she could handle something on her own. This makes him one of my favorite heroes ever. And he has a wicked little secret that makes him sooooooo more appealing. *dreamy sigh*

The plot around Nathaniel's disappearance kept me glued to the pages. Reading Wilder's Mate is like watching a adventurous western only better suitable for the girly side in me. I loved how all the plot-lines unfolded and I was surprised by more than one revelation. Another plus is how perfectly the romance fit into the story- the mix between action, romance  and plot was masterly done. The only thing I regretted was that the story itself was so short. I could have kept reading and reading...

Wilder's Mate is a unique addition to the rather new steampunk genre. With the additional paranormal twist and the wonderfully realized love story it sets the standard high for other novels in this genre. Wilder's Mate is definitely another winner by Moira Rogers and I can't wait for the next book set in this fascinating world.
To learn more about Moira Rogers and their books please visit the website here.

Read pattepoilue's review @Book Lovers Inc or other reviews @goodreads.
You can buy the book @BooksOnBoard

Wilder’s Mate Kindle Contest

Want to win a brand new Wi-Fi Kindle 3? All you have to do is leave a comment on this post, and you can have your chance! For more chances to win, visit the main contest page. Every participating blog you visit gives you another chance to win!
This post is part of Moira Rogers’ Wild Web Adventure Promo. For full rules and disclaimers, or to hold your own kindle contest, visit the contest post. Winners will be chosen during the first week of April.


March 7, 2011

Review: Crash Into Me by Jill Sorenson

In this heart-stopping novel, Jill Sorenson delivers a romantic thriller featuring one too-tough female agent, one too-hot male suspect, and a head-on erotic collision.…
Though he’d gone into virtual seclusion, Ben Fortune was still the world’s most famous surfer, known as much for his good looks as for his skill. He’s also a suspect in a series of brutal murders that may have begun with his late wife. Now FBI Special Agent Sonora “Sonny” Vasquez has been sent undercover to the elite beach community of La Jolla to make friends with Fortune. With her fierce beauty and take-no-prisoners attitude, she’s more than equipped for the job, and soon she and Ben have collided in an affair that is both intense and irresistible. But for the first—and worst—time in Sonny’s career, her emotions are threatening to get the better of her. Could this sensual, wounded man, who is genuinely anguished over his troubled daughter, really be a killer? And could falling in love blind Sonny to the greatest danger of all?

When Carolyn Crane told me how much she adored Jill Sorenson novels and even compared her to Megan Hart, I couldn't hold myself back and bought 2 of her backlist titles. I started Crash Into Me and I read this 400+ pages novel in under 24 hours. It just took me so long because of the evil job and OMG I'm in love.

Crash Into Me is such an emotional and suspenseful novel that I fond myself at a loss for words. Some books are just that good that you have to tell everyone about them and I think this is one of those for me. I didn't plan to review it but I can't seem to concentrate on anything else so I just have to get it out of my system. What made this book so special to me?

1. The whole structure of this suspense novel is rather unique and highly intriguing. It's not the usual one romance per novel- we actually have 2 love-stories in this one. I loved how the focus varied but never highlighted one plot line too much. The balance between all the stories and subplots was perfect. Never did I have the urge to skip some pages to get to the "good" part. Everything just fit together.

2. The characterization in this book was also perfect. I love when an author gives us such an insight into their characters but doesn't make it too subtle. I hate when we are thrown from one internal discussion into the next. It has to fit the story and shouldn't feel forced. Sorenson did just that and so much more. I can't remember many books where I felt such a deep connection to the characters. They were shown in so much detail they actually jumped off the pages for me.

3. The story itself was really sad but all the rather "heavier" topics were handled with so much love and care that you just couldn't look away. This book forces you to keep reading even when you think that you would prefer not to read about this. My heart still hurts when I think about parts of this story. But on the other hand we have those moments full of love which balance out the sad parts.

4. In addition to #1 I have to admit something. I know I'm one of those big YA deniers who just out of protest don't read this genre and here I caught myself adoring a YA plot. It just totally blew me away but I'm also sure I wouldn't have liked it if it would have only been YA. I think the mix totally does it for me.

5. I'm not a huge suspense fan but Crash Into Me kept me on the edge of my seat and I may have mentioned this before, I couldn't put it down. The plot was never too prominent or pushed the romance into the background but it was always there, reminding you that something horrible happened and you could already feel the doom approaching. And yep I didn't see the end coming.

As you can see I loved this book- it had everything I love about books and so much more. I had high expectations and this book didn't disappoint at all- it exceeded everything I could have imagined before I started it.  LOVED it! If you haven't read this author I urge you to give her a try-I was blown away and I hope you will be too. And yes, I already started my next Jill Sorenson novel. *g*
To learn more about Jill and her books please visit her website here.

Read other reviews @Goodreads. Buy the book @The Book Depository


March 6, 2011

My February Reads

February was great even though I still had my internship most of the time but I read and read and read. So I'm happy with myself and so it looks good with reaching my goal of 150 books in 2011.So here's what I read:

1. City of Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, #3) by Stacia Kane
I can't believe I waited so long with reading this one. Perhaps I was just too scared of the long wait for book 4. I already can't wait to get my hands on that one. I loved how much we saw of the emotional development even though it sometimes was a bit too much of Chess' worrying for my taste. A great book and I highly recommend this series. Did I mention that this is one of the rare books BF gave 5 stars? Yep he did. *g*

2. Moonlight Temptation (Lucani Lovers #4) by Stephanie Julian (my review)
I really like how Steph writes. Her characters are always so likable and fleshed out. I was so happy to finally read Evie's story and Ryan totally rocked. Very hot and entertaining.

3. Angel of Vengeance by Trevor Munson (my review)
The book that inspired Moonlight but didn't feel like it at all. I was rather disappointed. It didn' fell like the series which for me always had a urban fantasy/PNR feel. It was more of a noir book. But that put aside the writing just didn't grab me. It's completely written our of first person present and the writing itself was too detached for my taste. It gave a bit of background info about Mike but without that I wouldn't have kept reading.
4. Metatropolis: Cascadia by Jay Lake (my review)
I finally finished the audiobook and yes I liked it. The narration was mostly awesome and the stories were thought-provoking and entertaining. I'm sure I will get more audiobooks in the future.
5. The Zero Dog War (Zero Dog Missions, #1) by Keith Melton (my review)
OMG this book is made of awesome and gelatin. It's such a fabulous hilarious UF setting- loved how everything fit together even though it was that crazy. I loved it to pieces and I highly recommend it to everyone who likes a funny book which also has some depth.

6. Dark and Stormy Knights by P.N. Elrod
Yes I did it again and didn't read all the stories in this one but I really like the ones I devoured. I loved Ilona's story and OMG after reading Vicki Pettersson's story I can't wait to get Neon Graveyard. And I so felt for Skamar I have to admit I perhaps cried a bit. Great one!

7. The Perfect Play (Play by Play, #1) by Jaci Burton
Look at this cover and let me tell you the book was just as good as its cover. WOW, I loved the characters and how the story unfolded and it was mighty hot. I know I can't wait for the next one.

8. Hot Finish (Fast Track, #3) by Erin McCarthy
Again why did I wait so long? I have no idea. Finally Rider and Suzanne's story and I actually liked it. It was a bit slow at parts and more than once was I looking like this O_o but I didn't expect anything else with those two. Yep still loving the series and waiting for the next one.

9. Pushing Her Boundaries by Julia Rachel Barrett (my review)
This one was a last minute addition to my reading  list but after Julia told me about what it was I just couldn't resist. Crazy canoe trips and a very nice hero. Loved it!

10. Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark, #11) by Kresley Cole
Finally Regin books- god how I love this series. It's always surpring that the suspense is still so high even though some books take place at a time we already experienced in another book. I love her characters and how fun and daring they are.  I have to say I expected Aiden to be different but all in all this story made me happy.

11. Seven Souls A Leaping by K.F. Zuzulo, Lisa Pietsch, Heather Long (my review)
Very different setting of a pagan paranormal world and I was surprised that all 3 stories were that much connected. I liked some parts of it, some weren't my taste but the last story was awesome. Something different in the all so monotone urban fantasy world.

12. This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, #5) by Jeaniene Frost
*huge grin* I love Cat & Bones and I really liked this one. How I missed to them happy together. *happy sigh* And I love Vlad- I so want his book. BUT I have to say I kind of expected more of chapter 21 after all this buzz.

13. Wilder's Mate (Bloodhounds, #1) by Moira Rogers
This book was perfect. I loved the characters and the setting and just everything about it. The hero was swoon worthy and I was sad that the book was over that fast. Can't wait to get the next one. Review to come!

14. River Marked (Mercedes Thompson, #6) by Patricia Briggs
It seems this month was all about getting the next book in series I love. I was so excited for River Marked but perhaps a bit too much. It was really good but still I was disappointed. It was very slow in the middle and it wasn't as addicting as the previous books in this series. That doesn't mean I didn't like it- I did but just not as much as I wanted.

That was my February, how was yours? Any recs I should check out?

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